Today's poem is by Caits Meissner
For the Poets at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
The circle's purpose is to see each other
our unspoken rule: commit to looking.
We were born and we will die, everything
in between is filler, debatable, for example
we have hated a woman for snatching
our man away like morning eggs.
We stay awake at night counting
constellations of guilt.
We both feel menstrual today
don't talk to us.
We call our mothers for comfort
and if they answer, tenuously
measure the distance between truth
and the length of rain.
We read books to remember stories
not of our own making or mess
and thank god, they are good
and thank God they are tragic.
Tragically, we both wonder if we deserve
anything good at all, to feel beautiful
or enjoy the pleasure of another body
when we've screwed or screwed up
we dream of undisturbed sand
covering each track and vanishing.
But in this room we crawl through
the window inside, dig up from burial
the dusty banjo of memory, we play
on childhood's climbing tree,
branches shedding crab apples
snatched up by the deer.
We can praise the fawn for cleaning
the lawn with her hunger.
We can name her tracks in fresh mud,
we can call her kin, coo the name
we've crowned her when she shows
her face in the damp morning grass.
And though some of us didn't have
backyards or a steady bed or a tree to love
we can write a porch into the scene
or a birdhouse or untie a hurt until
it stretches its arms out wide as the sea.
We can invent this common history,
waking up what is untouched and tender,
lit deep inside our bodies' vast night.
We can remember, it has been proven
that we are made of stars, always vibrating,
sparking, even if it cannot be seen by
the foolish eye and each era, there we are,
unmistakably, a presence growing larger.
Yes, we are spinning: the entire revolving sky.
Copyright © 2016 Caits Meissner All rights reserved
from Let it Die Hungry
The Operating System
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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